Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Frugal Dieter

Maybe your health or the thought of swimsuit season demands you make a change in your eating habits. The number one issue is people don’t like change or expending too much effort. The second issue is money. Diets or weight loss is expensive.
They can be. My sister lost a great of weight using a commercial method they delivered a week’s supply of food every week. The dehydrated food wasn’t exactly tasty and ran about thirty dollars a day. Since that was over twenty years ago, the price has probably gone up.
How can you lose weight while maintaining your budget? It is do-able. First, think of it as a lifestyle change as opposed to dieting. There will be many side benefits including more energy, ease of movement, improved skin tone and hair texture and self-confidence.
1.                   Decide on the approach you’ll take either counting carbs or calories. Don’t switch back and forth.

2.                    An average woman must walk for at least thirty minutes a day to MAINTAIN her current weight.

3.                   Dump anything with high fructose corn syrup in it. Check your jelly, soda, ketchup and salad dressings. Not only is it bad for you, but it plumps up your fat cells preventing weight loss.

4.                   Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Water helps moves the fat out of your body. It also helps you eat less because your stomach feels fuller.

5.                   Avoid alcohol because it slows down your metabolism up to 80% especially when consumed while eating. There is a reason they call it a beer belly. Although, some mixed drinks can pack as much as 800 calories a cocktail. Unfortunately, many people usually do not stop at one cocktail, either.

If you feel you can’t avoid it, then limit yourself to one beer or a glass of wine on the weekends. Think you can’t do this, then, face it you don’t really want to get in shape.

6.                   No fast food. Healthy & fast food don’t go together.  There are sit-down restaurants that offer healthy options including TGIF, Denny’s and Applebee’s. The simple strategy is to avoid fried and breaded food, sugary sodas, and pasta and potatoes. A nice steak, chicken breast, even a burger without the bun, works. Throw in a salad or vegetables and you have a meal.

7.                   Portion control. I remember episode of The Biggest Loser television show where Bob the trainer made a visit to a mother and daughter who were eating healthy, even using Biggest Losers approved recipes, but were not losing weight. They were eating about five servings of everything per meal. Know what a portion is. Measure it. You’ll be surprised that the plate spaghetti is more like four servings.

8.                   Prepare your snacks ahead of time. It is easy to make small packages of nuts, berries, carrots, or dried fruit to grab when you’re in a hurry. A lite string cheese stick works well too.

9.                   Diet food can be convenient too since it is pre-measured, but often it is expensive. I stock up on diet deals when I see them at Big Lots, Deals, or even The Dollar Tree.

10.               Raise you own veggies. The prices of spaghetti squash made it a luxury. I decided to grow this simple veggie in my backyard.

11.               Your freezer can be your best diet friend. Stock up whenever there is a sale on diet entrees to lean meat. It is also useful to make healthy meals in bulk and freeze part of it.

12.               Look for  no calorie alternative treats. Instead of a trip to the all you can eat buffet, how about a pedicure instead.

13.               Step up your activity level by taking the stairs, not parking near the store, dancing while you do simple home chores, even lifting weights while watching television.

14.               It also helps to have a friend or family member making a life style change with you. Often the ones we love seem the most determined to throw obstacles in our way.

15.       Write down your starting weight and measurements. It won't melt off overnight, but it is great to see positive change.

You will be saving money without eating out as much, by consuming less alcohol and convenience food. The money you save might go toward a new wardrobe, just saying.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Art of Thrifting, Part Two

Deciding to Buy Clothing
·         The first thing you do in deciding to buy clothes is to look for stains, tears or underarms stains.
·         Washing will eliminate the smoke smell.
·         Ugly buttons can be replaced, but are you the type to replace buttons.
·         Broken zippers will add on another $15 to repair.
·         Try on the clothes if possible.  Even if it is pulling it, over what you already have on.
·         Will go with anything else?
·         Basic pieces are the best
·         Look at the cuffs, do they show signs of fraying?
·         Is it a current style? This doesn’t matter to some people
·         The quality and brand. You want to get the best items for your money.
·         Is it missing a belt?   Can you accessorize with one you already have.
·         Do you have any possible use for it? Sometimes it is okay to pick up a formal dress for a couple of bucks even when you aren’t intending to go anywhere.
·         Be very careful when buying for resale. The bottom has fallen out of the resale clothing market on Ebay. Most people have discovered they can thrift on their own and save money too. On higher end clothes and large sizes, it is still good, but the items have to be perfect.
·         Large clothing can be altered to fit. Keep the cost in mind, unless you are doing it yourself
·         Avoid any dry cleaning only items, unless you are willing to dry-clean them.
·         The same with items that need ironing, unless you are willing to iron
·         Some stains can be removed.  It all depends on what it is and if the item has been dried. Ink, marker and crayon are often removable. It is better if there is a pattern in case your removal attempt proves unsuccessful.
·         Avoid sweaters with holes or unraveling. This is not an easy fix problem. Undone seams can usually be repaired.
Other Items
·         Don’t buy cookware with scratched Teflon.

·         Try out all electronic items. If they don’t work, don’t buy them thinking you'll fix them. 

·         Do pay attention to prices.  Goodwill marks items individually. A glass might be a dollar, which makes six of them six dollars. You could have bought a new set of matched glasses from Wal-Mart for the same price.

·         Love an item, don’t just like it. The okay items merely  vacation at your house before making a return trip.

·         Before buying something for someone else, call them. They may not want the items as much as you think

·         Tarnished items can be cleaned, but you’ll also have to clear them regularly. Many will have already developed pitting or spots due to neglect.

·         Can you refresh the item?  Furniture can be painted. Lampshades can be changed on a lamp base, buttons changed on clothing.

·         Items can be recycled too. A large skirt can become a small tablecloth or a throw pillow. A friend buys oversized clothing for the fabric and uses it for costumes. It is much cheaper than buying material at a fabric store.

The one thing you don’t want to do is to buy something you have no use for.